Portsmouth has 13 people still living rough in the pandemic - but 181 have been given homes
AROUND a dozen people are sleeping rough on the streets of Portsmouth.
Portsmouth City Council said its latest monthly count found 13 people who are homeless.
One man was this week living outside the language school LSI Portsmouth.
This is a stone’s throw from the council’s new homeless accommodation at the former Registry pub in St Michael’s Road in the city centre.
It comes as 246 rough sleepers have been moved into settled or supported homes since the start of the pandemic in the wider Portsmouth area.
Government figures show a drop in rough sleeping in Portsmouth, from 27 in December to 18 in January, and now 13.
A council spokeswoman said: ‘We are continuing to see a decrease in the number of rough sleepers.
‘On the last monthly count (February 28) there were 13 rough sleepers in Portsmouth.
‘The numbers are monitored daily and there is sometimes fluctuation from that 13.’
Figures show Fareham had three rough sleepers as of January, while there were four in Havant and Gosport.
Many homeless people were housed in hotels at the outset of the pandemic under the government’s Everyone In policy.
Between the start of the pandemic and January this year the city council had moved 181 people into settled or supported accommodation.
In Havant, 11 people were found new accommodation, 33 in Gosport and 21 in Fareham.
Portsmouth had placed 102 rough sleepers - or people at risk of sleeping rough - in emergency accommodation in January this year, up from 59 in September.
Some 10 people were in similar types of housing in Havant, while there were 36 in Gosport and 18 in Fareham.
The city council spokeswoman said: ‘We are working with everyone still sleeping rough on a one-to-one basis, but we will not be forcing people into accommodation against their will.
‘Our outreach team, along with our community wardens continue to work with newly homeless people or those at risk of sleeping rough
‘The council has outreach services who find rough sleepers and offer them support.
‘We encourage residents who are concerned about someone they think is sleeping rough, to go to streetlink.org.uk and log the details so local agencies can try to connect the person with help available.’
A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron
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